A&M Researchers Discuss Best Practices For Disaster Planning

COLLEGE STATION - Texans are preparing for flooding from Tropical Storm Bill as it continues to move across the Lone Star State.

A research team from Texas A&M’s Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center is working to identify best practices in pre- and post-disaster planning in communities recovering from a variety of natural and man-made disasters.

Supported by a two-year, $221,076 grant from the National Science Foundation, the team is compiling and analyzing practices and interactions of public and private agencies involved in disaster recovery in six Texas communities that have experienced a hurricane, tornado, wildfire or industrial facility explosion.

The effort is led by co-principal investigators Michelle Meyer, assistant research scientist at the HRRC and assistant professor of sociology at Louisiana State University, and John Cooper, an HRRC research fellow and urban planning associate professor of practice at Texas A&M.

After a disaster strikes, what often follows is an unequal and partial recovery, the result of recovery efforts that fail to reduce pre-disaster vulnerabilities, said Meyer in the project abstract.

“Future disasters mean more communities will struggle, often with little local experience managing the difficult processes of achieving sustainable, resilient recovery,” she added.